Skywards

Maintaining a positive growth trend over the past few months, Sri Lankas export earnings posted a double-digit growth for the first eight months of this year, a momentum that will help achieve better than forecasted year-end growth.
The positive sentiment contributed to a rise in exports and a higher import bill in August. However, the trade deficit continued to widen to US$ 53 mn in August, compared to a surplus of US$ 110 mn in August 2002. rn

rnThe overall improvement in the liquidity in the foreign exchange market, lessened the pressure on the exchange rate and enabled the Central Bank to purchase, on a net basis, a sum of US$ 258 mn from the market during the first eight months of 2003. rn

rnThe period Jan-Aug. saw the trade deficit in dollar terms widen to US$ 876 mn over US$ 866 mn last year, prompted largely by a 11 percent rise in export proceeds and a 9 percent rise in the countrys import bill.rn

rnEXPORTS

rnMeanwhile, export earnings for August rose to US$ 470 mn over US$ 568